Our Journey Through the Pandemic
When the first lockdown happened here in the UK, my twin babies were four months old. They were just starting to sit up unassisted and were becoming aware of the world around them. Up until this point, I’d had plenty of support from friends and family; my mum who stayed with me for a week to help out, friends who came and watched the babies while I had a cup of tea and a shower, and in-laws who we could go and stay with if we felt like we needed an extra pair of hands for a few days.
All of a sudden, thanks to Covid-19, I found myself with no support network. Nobody could come and help out and I was by myself with two babies 80% of the time. My husband is wonderful and helps out whenever he can, but his priority has to be work, which involves a commute and long hours.
I’m not going to lie, things have been really hard at times. I’ve had wobbles, and like the rest of the country, my mental health has taken a bit of a battering. For the most part, though, I have worked out how to just about stay on top of things.
The thing that has helped me the most, is staying organised. Meal prepping, laying out clothes, and packing a nappy bag the night before make things a million times more manageable. I always make sure I have an easy lunch option ready for me too – leftovers that I can reheat, beans on toast, a pack of supermarket sushi, or microwavable rice. Not having to think about any of the basics makes things a lot less stressful when you’re trying to entertain two babies!
Perhaps the hardest part of lockdown has been the total lack of adult conversation. I had Zoom quizzes and online family chats, but it’s just not the same as seeing people in person, and the enthusiasm for online communication fizzled out after a couple of months anyway. I took solace in the socially distant walks and outdoor pub lunches we could have during the first lockdown, but those too have dwindled now.
Now, during lockdown number two, I am doing whatever I can to get out. Walks round the park, the supermarket, the post office. Anywhere that I need to go, I walk to. The fresh air does us all a world of good, and saying hello to the people we pass adds a little normality into my day. Packing up lunch and eating in the park also means I don’t have to worry about sweeping up the kitchen floor after food has inevitably been flung everywhere.
On the days where the weather is dreadful, or I just can’t face the outside world, I have some go-to solutions that make life inside more bearable. My IKEA Kallax unit is organised so the bottom shelves are full of toys that the babies can access themselves. Toys are organised into baskets and trays, so they can play with one thing at a time – their current favourites are a basket of brightly coloured balls, and a tray of bamboo drinking glasses! Organising toys like this has been brilliant ever since the babies have been able to move about and I thoroughly recommend it. It’s in line with Montessori methods – like many of our other daily routines and rituals!
In addition to a readily available supply of toys, I know that putting ‘Hey Duggee’ on the TV will give me enough time to make and drink a cup of tea. Needs must.
And there it is. I’m getting through – sometimes my days are bursting with love and joy from playing with and watching my babies. Other days, I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders, and my frustration grows at not being able to keep my children happy.
Hopefully, things will start returning to normal before long, and my support network will gradually return. Until then, I know I can muddle through, and will continue to do my very best for my beautiful babies.
I would love to connect with other twin mamas who have newborns or young babies. To know what everyone else has been doing to get by would be great – let’s stand in solidarity!